NINE AM Projects
Brian Clarke: Atlantes and Astragals
Brian Clarke: Atlantes and Astragals

Brian Clarke: Atlantes and Astragals, Christie’s King St, 10 - 22 December 2011


From 10 to 22 December 2011, Christie’s will show Atlantes and Astragals, an exhibition of works by Brian Clarke, the celebrated stained glass artist & painter. Uniquely amongst contemporary artists, Clarke works across different media, including sculpture, drawing, mosaic and tapestry as well as painting and glass, to create total environments in a manner akin to Renaissance masters. Brian Clarke will present seven paintings together with Studies for Atlantes, 2002, a series of six stained glass works depicting Miami beach boys, which will be on view in Europe for the first time. Full details of the works on view at the exhibition are available on request and will soon be online at http://www.christies.com.


Francis Outred, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe: “We look forward to showing Brian Clarke in December when we will showcase extraordinary stained glass and paintings. It is particularly exciting to display the focal piece of the exhibition, the six Atlantes, which have not previously been seen in Europe. The exhibition rooms at Christie’s King Street headquarters have been modernized over recent years and now offer one of the leading modern spaces for art in London; it is a great opportunity to be able to host such an event.”

Architecture has always been profoundly important to the artist. On a visit to York Minster at the age of twelve he was ‘moved by the architecture, particularly the gothic. I mistook the emotion and thought it must be a religious vocation but it was art.’ This passion first led him to work in glass; he realised he could make art that was part of the building and inseparable from it. Clarke considers the stained glass works of the medieval period as one of England’s greatest cultural achievements.

Alongside the glass panels, Clarke will also be showing seven paintings including the Via Dolorosa series. They share the unifying structural motif of a ‘frieze’ of a procession of Porsche motorcars driving across the top of the canvases. The main sections are largely abstract, with lachrymose dribbles of paint. These works are dominated by a palette of opaque blacks and blues, and provide a sombre, nocturnal counterpoint to the sunshine and humour of the Altantes.

Brian Clarke, b.1953
English artist Brian Clarke creates magnificent stained glass projects for large-scale architectural commissions, a field in which he is justly acknowledged as a world leader. His practice also includes painting, sculpture, mosaics and tapestry, often combined as installations which can be found in architectural settings and private and public collections throughout the world. Brian Clarke has worked in collaboration with many of the world’s leading architects, such as Norman Foster,  Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano,  Will Alsop, Arata Isozaki, Jan Kaplicky, I.M.Pei, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

He has been responsible for some of the most enduring and radical art in architecture of the last thirty years.

Projects include the stained glass installation for the Pyramid of Peace in Kazakhstan; the Al Faisaliah Centre in Riyadh Saudi Arabia; the Pfizer World Headquarters in New York;  EAM HQ in Kassel, Germany;  the Hotel du Department des Bouches-du Rhone, Marseille; The Lake Sagami building, Japan; The Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam; The King Kahled International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the Swiss Bank Cone in Connecticut; Norte Shopping, Rio de Janeiro; The Victoria Quarter, Leeds; Abbaye de la Fille Dieu, Switzerland; The Apostolic Nunciature, London.

Brian Clarke is a visiting Professor of Architectural Art at University College London, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; Honorary Doctor, University of Huddersfield; Trustee of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust; Chairman of the Architecture Foundation and Sole Executor of The Estate of Francis Bacon. 

He is the subject of 19 published monographs.

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